Newsletter catch up: Renishaw drops one on ones
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Renishaw’s decision to halt one on ones got a frosty reception from the City last week. But it could be the company’s senior management members who end up feeling out in the cold.
During its full-year results, the UK-based engineering firm said that, following a communications review, private meetings would stop. The move, explained Renishaw, is to ensure all existing and potential investors have access to company information at the same time.
(On a call with analysts, assistant chief executive Ben Taylor noted that it would also free up some time for the top brass, but stressed that wasn’t the main reason for the policy change.)
It’s not like the company is closing up shop. The plan is to beef up the corporate website, as well as put on an investor day in May. Site tours will also continue, and shareholders will be able to arrange ‘shareholder meetings’ with the chairman and non-executive directors, noted Renishaw. But that wasn’t enough to placate the investment community.
Investec analyst Michael Blogg said the move was ‘unhelpful’ for a company that is ‘already hard to read’. Aviva Investors emailed the Financial Times to voice its strong disagreement. ‘These meetings are a vital part of the dialogue with providers of risk capital,’ wrote fund manager Chris Murphy.
In a way, Renishaw’s objective is laudable: it wants to treat investors equally. After all, haven’t market regulators spent the last 20 years trying to create a ‘level playing field’ for big and small alike?
But professional investors often want personal contact to feel comfortable with their investments, which regulators understand and allow. Denying this access on a point of principle seems counterproductive. If Renishaw needs to rely on its shareholders in the future, it might wish it had kept relations a little warmer.
Global Investor Relations Forum
I just wanted to provide a quick update on the Global Investor Relations Forum, which is due to take place in New York this November. IR Magazine and NIRI are co-hosting the event, which will bring together companies from around the world to discuss IR from a global perspective.
In the September edition of the magazine, out at the end of August, we will reveal the Global Top 50 – a list of the best IR teams as decided by our independent surveys of investors and analysts from around the world – in alphabetical order. The actual ranking, along with some special awards, will be revealed at the event on November 18-20. Click here for more information.